Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's a beautiful day!

MP: What a difference it makes to have my girlfriends around. I had a fabulous day today! I started off with a trip over to Marin to introduce myself to the office staff at three of my schools. I was able to get keys and see my rooms (spaces, really) and equipment at the three schools. The choir room at the middle school is much better than I had been told. There are folder racks and new risers. There's even an empty teacher's desk I'm thinking of swiping for myself... no office?! It's mine, now! I'll be there to prep each morning, so it might be a nice place to be quiet and get ready. I have six keys so far for three schools. We'll see how many I get for the last one! I'm planning on going back tomorrow for that.

The big highlight of my day was a visit from Sophie and Lisa! They came all the way from South Bay for lunch and a walk in Tilden Park. It was so wonderful to see my dear friends. I have missed them both so much. Lisa is moving here with her fiancee, Patrick, later this month. We haven't lived in the same state for a few years now (since we were in Divisi together at UO) and I'm so looking forward to having her here. She's in a master's program in music education, so we are already planning big for our joint future education projects! Soph is living in Portland and working on her master's in social work. She's already doing some amazing things and I'm so proud of her. I feel so blessed to have these women in my life!

Chris had his first day of orientation and I'll let him write about that... we're both getting started down here and it's all very exciting/nerve-wracking/wonderful! Love to all. Until next post!
CP: Boalt held its first day of Orientation. Orientation, you might be interested, comes from the Latin, "orientior," which means "to confuse and slightly frighten nervous naifs on the first day of a major endeavor while charging them $700 for textbooks with all the narrative force of an old phonebook."

In the beginning, it lived up to its etymological roots. We were herded into a courtyard and fed bagels, bananas, and coffee, all on the pretense of relaxing us with some forced socialization. But it's impossible to relax when you're fairly certain that you just overheard the guy sitting across from you say that he's on leave from his Biology PhD program at Harvard to pursue this little frivolous thing called a JD. That didn't actually happen. But it very well could have if I were sitting at another table. My table, in fact, had normal people (by which I mean people from Stanford) with good senses of humor and a taste for onion bagels. We got along very well.

I found out my class schedule:

10-11:10am: Torts
11:20-12:30: Civ Pro
2:00-3:20: Property

I also have a pass/fail class called Legal Writing and Research. It's my only class on Fridays.

The first official function was the Welcome Session, which was a long program of fawning over us. "Look at you, you little Boalties! You're so great! We love you! Good luck with this vast and mysterious ocean called the law! You should do just fine!" The closing speaker was a guy named Bob Berring, famous to law librarians for his sense of humor. He gave a rousing speech. The most important piece of advice came from a story about a young man with a marital problem who came to Bob with a rather risque plea for advice. Essentially the poor guy said, I'm studying so much that my wife's getting a little frustrated with the, ahem, neglect. What should I do? Bob's advice: Don't forget your priorities. The law can wait. That was his general theme. Don't forget who you are.

We proceeded then to a fine catered lunch, which gave me the opportunity to smear tuna salad all over my face. In my defense, the tuna went well with the half-melted chocolate-chip cookie, so I feel it was an overall victory. Again, everyone I met at lunch (by which I mean a whole bunch of people from Stanford) was very kind.

During the afternoon we met with our modules. A module (or Mod) is a group of about 30 students with whom you'll take your core classes, two of which will be with another mod (making a class of about 90 students) and one of which with just your mod. I'm in Mod 5, and we'll be taking Property with each other. My first impression is that everyone is friendly and funny, the only two things I require in a human. I look forward to getting to know them better.

The rest of the day I spent in doing administrative things (getting my ID card, signing up for a library account, wiping off the chocolate-chip cookie from my face).

Tonight I did my first assignment. It was a case involving the false imprisonment of a guy who happened to oppose, of all noble and justified things that were totally worth doing, World War I. This opposition caused some guys in his town to take the liberty of kidnapping him and dumping him across state lines, after a proper beating at the border. The issue is: If the guy was so scared to death that in the beginning he consented to get into a car with the leaders of a crazed and armed mob, is it really false imprisonment? The answer is: Ask the guy from Stanford.

Overall, a fine day. Boalt seems like a great place. The cookies are good.

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